Part two of the ranking the starting QBs in the NFL (20-11). Part one is available here. Last years rankings are in bold next to the players name.
20 Colin Kaepernick (15)
Kaepernick hasn’t changed all that much from this time last season which is fine if you’re Aaron Rodgers and you’re NFL MVP but not when your main plus is your potential. Kaepernick has all the physical attributes in the world with his build, speed and arm strength but lacks in the mental and mechanics departments. Without quarterback whisperer Jim Harbaugh and RB Frank Gore to lean on, things could get ugly this year in San Francisco.
19 Cam Newton (17)
In many ways, a lot of what I said about Kaepernick also applies to Cam Newton. Newton is a phenomenal athlete who tends to struggle with the more traditional aspects of the quarterback position. If you want proof of this look at how the Panthers have drafted two receivers over 6’4″ (Kelvin Benjamin and ) in the last two years to give him big targets to aim for to help combat his inaccuracy. With that being said Newton has helped lead the Panthers to back to back playoffs and has plenty of potential to improve.
18 Nick Foles (11)
Last year, Foles came back down to earth after his stellar numbers (27 TDs to 2 INTs) the year before. A large part of this was due to the loss of DeSean Jackson and opposing defenses reacting to Chip Kelly’s innovative scheme. That’s not to say Foles is blameless as he certainly did struggle at times. Now with a new offense that relies more on running the ball it will be interesting to see how Foles plays this year.
17 Eli Manning (20)
Last year was a bit of a renaissance for Eli Manning under Ben McAdoo. Between the welcome change in Coordinator and the addition of Odell Beckham we saw Manning a lot to the Superbowl winning teams of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks from a couple of years ago. With the Giants defence no longer being the dominant force it once was, the Giants will hope this continues.
16 Carson Palmer (25)
Carson Palmer really was a surprise package last year, looking completely at home in Bruce Arian’s system after a couple of rough seasons in Oakland. Palmer helped to lead an impressive Cardinals team to the top of the NFC West before he went down with an ACL tear. Palmer was a major part of why the Cardinals down field offense was such a success and could have another two or three good seasons left yet.
15 Sam Bradford (19)
Bradford is quite tough to rank in this because he hasn’t played a full season in two years. Bradford is highly talented and is a class act when he is on the field but is coming off a second ACL tear and is in a new system in Philadelphia. This should be a good move for Bradford though as he Chip Kelly is one of the league’s top offensive minds and the Eagle’s medical staff are probably the best in the league.
14 Matthew Stafford (14)
Stafford really is a bit of an enigma, a number 1 pick with plenty of talent and a once in a generation wide receiver but yet it feels like Stafford has been a bit of a disappointment. I’m certainly not saying Stafford is a bust but two really good receivers in Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, Stafford should be doing better than 22 TDs and 12 INTs. With former franchise DT Ndumakong Suh, the pressure will be more than ever on Stafford.
13 Joe Flacco (16)
While Flacco continues to get paid as if he were a franchise quarterback, he still has to truly live up to his $20 million a year salary. Flacco while definitely more than a game manager he has yet to make to the leap to the elite group quarterbacks. His imposing physique and a rocket of an arm lend to him being able to take the next step but the loss of WR Torrey Smith and having to learn a new offense with Gary Kubiak gone to Denver, make it difficult for me to see it happening.
12 Ryan Tannehill (22)
Part of the 2012 QB class that was one of the best ever, has really made some big steps to become one of the best young QBs in the league. Mobile with great accuracy in the short and medium area but Tannehill does struggle with the deep ball. With Jordan Cameron and Kenny Stills added to the offense and Ndumakong Suh to the defense, Dolphins could finally get back into the playoffs and Tannehill could be a big part why.
11 Alex Smith (18)
Finally after shedding all the expectations that bogged him down in San Francisco, Smith has gone on to thrive in Andy Reid’s West Coast scheme in Kansas City with 41 TDs to 13 INTs. Smith is more than just a game manager who will have a top WR in Jeremy Maclin this season to help balance a team that has been very reliant on Jamaal Charles.
Part three (10-1) will be out next week